The validation workshop of Conflict Monitoring Tool 2023 was done on 31st October, 2023 at Getfarm Hotel in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. The workshop was started by a word of prayer from Rev. Dr. Bekure followed by the participants’ introduction session. After the introduction, the research findings were presented where the participants were first taken through the conflict monitoring curved that CRTP has developed. The presentation elaborated how the curve is used to monitor conflict across the region. After research findings presentation, one of the participants raised concern on the gender imbalance in the study as more men participated in the study than women. The age brackets were well distributed indicating that both the youths, men and women with experience participated in the research.
The participants further argued that although political violence and border violence were evidenced by the study as the most prevalent conflicts, resource based conflict which is common in Ethiopia is not captured by the findings.. One of the youth representatives echoed that ‘I agreed with my colleague on the conflict of resource-based as one of the common conflict in Ethiopia. This is caused by biasness in resource sharing among the citizens. You see, most of the resources are controlled by politicians’. An educationist present in the meeting further suggested that to end resource-based conflict in the country, there is need to create awareness on resource sharing among the communities as well as training political leaders on the importance of resource sharing.
Majority of the participants agreed that at present Ethiopia conflict has moved from crisis level as it was in 2022 to confrontational level of 2.4 as revealed by the research findings. One of the women representative said that ‘I concur with the findings because last year before the signing of the peace agreement between the Tigray forces and the government, we could not go to Tigray and we could not even make phone call but now we can and recently I visited one of my friend there’. Another participant said that ‘I agreed with madams’ contributions and the research findings because things are now better if not worst compared to last year. However, a few participants had different opinion that the country is still experiencing some conflict in northern part of Ethiopia mainly the tribal based conflicts and violence among the communities.
The highly prevalent types of conflict confirmed by the participants as revealed by the study findings were domestic violence, cattle rustling, land conflicts, tribal-based violence, political violence and resource based conflicts. One of the participants testify that ‘Personally, I agreed that domestic violence is common in our country with women being the most affected’. A woman working with organization promoting women participation in peace-building echoed that there is need to recognize the role women play in peace-building by allowing them in decision making table.
Historical and ethical grievances, biasness of resource sharing, territorial rule, and power sharing were reported as the main cause of conflict in Ethiopia. One of the participants working with law firm said that ‘you know here in Ethiopia, people are still battle with cases of land disputes and historical grievances that affects peace stability. There are also cases of rape pending in our courts unresolved. Moreover, most of the communal conflict in Ethiopia are caused by undressed historical grievances. Socialist government, poor resource sharing formulae, partial implementation of peace agreements and undressed historical grievances were confirmed as the key drivers of conflict in the region. One of the participants said that ‘To me, resource sharing, territorial rule and historical grievances should have been some of key drivers of conflict in Ethiopia.’
The participants further confirmed that political leaders and armed militia groups are the key actors of conflict in the region. A youth leader in the meeting reiterated that ‘I agreed with the study findings because you find that these people (political leaders) are the ones causing conflict since they want to own all the resource without being considerate.’ In addition politicians in this country are the people controlling resources. So I concur with my brother’s comment that political leaders are the key actors of conflict both at the national and community level. Lack of consensus between peace actors, unresolved historical grievances, poor judicial system, and poor resource sharing were confirmed by the participants as the key challenges to peace restoration/conflict resolution in Ethiopia. A lawyer echoed that ‘our judicial system need a lot of improvement and transparency, more so in handling historical grievances between tribes. On the effectiveness of the role institutions in conflict resolution, the participants agreed and confirmed that religious and women organizations have truly played vital role in ensuring peace stability in South Sudan. One of the religious leader echoed that: ‘I think the findings are true and even the percentage of religious institutions should have been over 80% because they love peace and they have been advocating for peace in country’.
In conclusion, the participants agreed that the research findings were very insightful and this will help in promoting peace stability across the region when the final report is shared with the relevant stakeholder in peace-building. Further, there is need also to create awareness among the political leaders and train them of the benefits of power and resource sharing. There is also need full implementation of laws to bring equality among the citizens.
Take away home messages
- The Centre for Research, Training and Publication to expand scope of operation in terms of regions covered during data collection stage to reduce the biasness in the research findings.
- The FGD and KII to be done on the ground where the conflicts are common not only in one region. This will reveal what is happening in other regions.
- Classify the types of conflicts in categories to get clearer picture of the most prevalent conflicts in the country.
- The research findings were informative and there is more need to expand the region /scope of the research areas.